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How are author-illustrators paid?

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As I understand it, if you're the author of a PB, or of any illustrated childrens' book, that's been accepted for publication, the publishing company will hire the illustrator and pay them a flat fee, while you as the author earn royalties on books sold. But what if you both write and illustrate the book?
#1 - August 01, 2020, 12:31 PM

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That's not actually that common a set-up, though it depends on the type of publisher. A trade publishing company--everyone from Penguin Random House to Peachtree--typically pays royalties to both the author and the illustrator, with a 50/50 split. So as author-illustrator, you get the full amount, which is usually 10% of list price.
#2 - August 01, 2020, 01:44 PM
Harold Underdown

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Educational publishers are more likely to use flat fees, often for both the author and the illustrator.
#3 - August 01, 2020, 06:42 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
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Just agreeing with both Harold and Debbie. Any advance against royalties the Publisher offers is also split equally.
#4 - August 02, 2020, 04:29 AM
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

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Just agreeing with both Harold and Debbie. Any advance against royalties the Publisher offers is also split equally.

Umm, that's not necessarily true. Illustrators often get a larger advance than the author. Of course, that takes longer to earn out.
#5 - August 02, 2020, 07:49 AM
Harold Underdown

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Quote
Illustrators often get a larger advance than the author. Of course, that takes longer to earn out.

Yes, absolutely. I usually remember to add that  but coming from an Illustrator, it always feels a little awkward, even if eventually  both creatives end up with the same money earned :)
#6 - August 02, 2020, 08:32 AM
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

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Educational and Religious markets, so far as I've experienced at least, pay a flat fee.  And if you're illustrating for a self-publishing author, you should usually charge a flat fee because that's a risky market for royalties.  Spot illustrations for magazines also pay a flat fee.  I've done the occasional logo, T-shirt graphic, promotional poster, and video game art.  All those were a flat fee too.  I've never actually worked for royalties.  But I've also never illustrated for the trade market, so far at least. 
#7 - August 04, 2020, 10:38 AM
Karen B. Jones

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